Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Visiting students from Mexico reflect on their time at Southeast

Monday, November 13, 2017

Enjoying the fall colors is something one may take for granted but not, Sergio Sanchez and Maria Urquijo are two of the 11 students who have been attending Southeast since Oct. 21 as part of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative. “I have never seen such colors in the leaves,” Sanchez,who is from central Mexico said.

Urquijo agreed with Sanchez, saying she had not been expecting Missouri to have so much rain. Urquijo is from northwestern Mexico located south of Arizona. The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative is were central American universities pair up with north American universities to send students to sharpen their english speaking skills. In a four week intensive class scheduled program.

Posing with their homeland flag these 11 students from the 100,000 in the Americas Initiative will call Southeast home until Nov. 17.
Submitted photo

According to program and Intensive English Program director Breanna Walling, both Sanchez and Urquijo were tested upon arrival and placed in the top class in the Intensive English Program.

“All of the students are doing very well in their classes and seem to be enjoying Southeast,” Walling said.

As part of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative rules, these students must have completed 96 hours of coursework before the end of their stay which requires students to be in the classroom at least five hours a week day. The students will be leaving on Nov. 18.

Both Sanchez and Urquijo agree that their course work is a lot.

Aside from their students the students and their mentor faculty explore popular areas in Southeast Missouri.
Submitted photo

“It is not hard but it is not easy either,” Sanchez said.

Besides going to class the students do have some leisure time.

“The students spend most of their day in class but we have planned programs and have taken them to Southeast events,” Walling said.

One event the students attended and took part in was Carpe Diem, which was on Nov. 4. According to Walling, the students had a booth and spoke with other students who attended the event.

“It was really cool to see all the diversity Southeast has,” Urquijo said.

Sanchez and Urquijo said they enjoyed talking with other Southeast students but also looking at other booths.

Other events the students have attended are a Southeast soccer and football game.

With a limited time left at Southeast, Sanchez and Urquijo are hoping that the weather may change enough that they will be able to see some snow.

Craving pumpkins and celebrating the American version on Halloween helps these students sharpen their English language skills and gain an understanding go the American culture.
Submitted photo

“I have never seen snow before,” Sanchez said.

At the end of the trip the students and their teachers will spend a day sightseeing in St. Louis. Urquijo said she has been researching St. Louis and wants to see the Arch and Busch Stadium, but will enjoy anything she gets to see while there.